Arizona got the chance to sell the University of Arizona to Washington D.C. Edison-Friendship running back Jonathan Haden over the weekend. He took an unofficial visit to Tucson and came away amazed with the school.
"It was a great visit," Haden said. "I got to see the whole campus and some of the dorms. They took me through the new facility that is getting built right now.
"It's supposed to be done in a month and looks really nice. I got the full campus experience. It was amazing."
Haden came away impressed with multiple aspects of the visit, but he was most intrigued by the size of the campus and the feel that surrounded it.
"I really liked the size of the campus," he said. "It's not small at all. It's big and spread out. It was a little hot out there, but it was still really nice. The whole feel of the campus was just very home-like."
While on the visit, Haden solidified a decision that he knew had been coming for a few weeks. Feeling at home on the campus helped the running back with his decision to commit to Arizona.
"For the last couple of weeks, Arizona has been my number one school and nothing has changed," Haden said. "I wanted to get down there and see how it was. It's just the perfect fit for me, so I committed to Coach (Rich Rodriguez). I really like it a lot."
Even though Arizona's receivers' coach Tony Dews was Haden's lead recruiter, the recruit felt he had a stronger connection with the Wildcats' head coach. He has a close bond with Dews, which makes his relationship with Rodriguez that much stronger.
"Coach Rodriquez was one of the main reasons I committed," Haden said. "We had a vibe together and bonded. I'm really comfortable around him and we can talk about anything. We can talk about football and life and anything else."
One of the biggest selling points for the Arizona coaches was that Tucson only has one team that is competing for the town's attention. The Wildcats have the only football game in town and Haden got a look at the support that surrounds the program.
"The coaches were telling me how good the school was," Haden said. "They also sold me by telling me how the whole town loves and supports the team. I saw Arizona stuff wherever I went. It was all Wildcat stuff everywhere. "
Before committing, Jonathan had spoken with his older brother, Joe Haden, who is also a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns. Joe agreed with his brother's decision, even adding a few words he heard around the NFL.
"(Joe) just told me to make the best decision for me," he said. "He was behind my decision and supported me all the way. He heard good things about Arizona and he's happy for me."
Even though Haden won't graduate high school for another year, he is already looking forward to running the ball for Arizona. The Wildcats run an up-tempo style of offense, which is exactly what Haden likes.
"I think I fit into the offense perfectly," he said. "I'm running the same thing right now with my high school. I feel like I have a good chance to lead the offense at some point. I feel I can be successful in the offense that Coach Rodriquez runs now and the offense he ran prior.
"The offense definitely suits me. Speed, speed, speed. That's exactly how I like it."